It's been almost uncomfortably positive around these parts over the past week--Liverpool's late-window transfer business was mostly settled by Saturday, with Tiago Ilori and Mamadou Sakho arriving on permanent deals and Victor Moses coming in on a season-long loan. All moves were arguably necessary, and all make the squad stronger. Not perfect by any stretch, but combined with a loan for Fabio Borini and a final exit for Dani Pacheco yesterday, Liverpool were making plenty of sense while others panicked. Oh, and the win over Manchester United didn't hurt either.
But an international break always ushers in a bit of uncertainty and hand-wringing, and this time is no different after Daniel Sturridge played through a thigh injury in the win over United on Sunday. Rest and recovery would be the preferred approach for a player with a lengthy list of previous fitness concerns, yet after having played every minute of Liverpool's three wins in a week, he was still optimistic about representing his country in their World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
His excitement and urgency is understandable given that this looks to be the right time for him to finally push into the England squad as a regular in the starting eleven, but it may well be another opportunity missed through injury for Sturridge, with Henry Winter reporting that the striker wasn't at training today and is being closely watched by the training team:
No Defoe, Caulker, Wilshere, Sturridge at #eng training— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) September 3, 2013
With the Moldova match on Friday, Sturridge still has a few days to work back to something close to match-fitness, though the relative standings of the two sides--Moldova is on five points, three of them coming in their lone win against San Marino--would hopefully mean that Sturridge wouldn't be needed at all. Next Tuesday's trip to Kiev is a different prospect, with Ukraine only a point back of England in Group H and likely confident of taking points off a side they've done well against in the past.
We're left to hope that appropriate caution is taken, and that come next Tuesday evening we can look forward to Liverpool's trip to Swansea with Daniel Sturridge close to full health. Injuries to Glen Johnson, Joe Allen, Kolo Toure, and Aly Cissokho are cause enough for concern, and adding Liverpool's lone goalscorer on the season to that mix would be more than a little worrying.